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Things to Check Before Buying a Used Smartpone

Second-hand smartphones can give you a good deal for your money. If you are looking forward to buying a second hand used smartphone from a trusted source, there is no reason to think that the phone will certainly have a defect. But, it’s always good to be careful and inspect your phone before you buy it. Here are some tips you can use to test a second-hand smartphone before you buy it.


Things you should carry with you while buying a second-hand smartphone:

1) MicroSD card

2) Portable Charger with Cable

3) Laptop

4) SIM Card with Apt adaptors and 3G

5) Headphone

Physical Damage

First thing first. You must check for scratches on the display and more importantly on the camera lens (Both front and rear). Small scratches on the camera lens can significantly deteriorate picture quality, especially in low light conditions.


If the camera lens is clean and display in good shape, examine the side frame and check if there are big dents and bumps which will hint towards deadly drops and potential internal damage. Also check feedback from hardware buttons and shake them to check if they are wobbly or intact. Play a song and check if Loudspeaker is intact or not.

Recommended: Why Some Smartphone Touchscreens are Smooth and Others are Not? We Explain Why and How to Check it

Check Display

Power on the device and go to settings. If developer options are not enabled, you can go to settings>>About Phone>> and tab the build number 7 times. In developer options Check show touches and Pointer location options.


Now touch the display at all places to check if there is any inactive corner on the digitizer. Also check the display on full black background to determine if there is any backlight bleeding. This can happen due to harsh drops and might expand and become more prominent over a period of time.

Check Ports and Slots

USB Port – USB port is one of the most important ports on your device. Don’t just check it with your charger. If there is internal damage, you won’t be able to transfer data as your PC won’t detect your device. So connect your phone to a PC using a trusted USB Cable and check if it detects your phone.

SD Card slot – Insert an SD card on your device and check if your phone detects it without any trouble.

Recommended: Check Smartphone Battery Health and Get To Know When To Replace

Audio Jack – Try and Test audio jack by plugging in a good quality head set. Rotate the pin and test for sound quality.

SIM Cards– Do check both SIM card slots and if the phone detects 3G/2G connectivity on both of these slots. Do check if you cellular operator supports the device and provides APN settings if it is a lesser know brand.


If the battery is removable, remove it and check if you find it deformed or swollen. If so, you can conclude that you will have to buy a new one sooner or sometime later. In case of non removable battery phones you can charge the phone for 15 to 20 minutes. There shouldn’t be any excessive heating if the battery is good.

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If you are buying a second hand device, most likely it is running on a dated Android operating system. If you want to access full Play Store support and other aspects of Android experience, make sure that the software is at least Android 11 or above. Depending on your usage, also check if active community support is present for your device, which can help you with advance usage like rooting and flashing ROMs.


From security point of view, you can check if there are any suspicious pre-installed apps on the device. If you find Apps that might be a potential troublemaker, you can disable them or even run an antivirus scan to be sure.


Besides these points, we are sure you will go through hardware list and reviews of the device you are about to purchase. To inspect the phone, you will have to meet the seller in person. There is always a risk of being cheated while buying second hand gadgets and thus make sure you buy from a trusted source and negotiate well depending on how old the smartphone in question is.

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